|Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI, CDT|
Post Number: 1345
|Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 08:25 am: |
A PIECE OF THE PIE
by Ralph Liebing, RA, CSI
We need to overcome our reluctance to think that our work, excellent though it may be, is NOT the “whole pie”. We do not, and really cannot, operate in isolation from the rest of the project team and the various professions we work in or with.
In our current position, we need to know about, understand and accept how the entire project team, and the participating professions operate and contribute. Although we may not be formally part of one of the design professions, we must know, understand and respect the perspective of each professional in the profession and deal with our situation as “a piece of the pie”!
This, most certainly, is not derogatory or degrading, but merely an indication that our part of the pie is and needs to be equal to all of the other pieces in quality and type. We see no meringue on a pecan pie; no crunchy crumbs on a coconut cream pie. Each pie has its distinctive features, and these run through each piece.
Perhaps the metaphor is needless in that we understand how our part plays out. But the sad and often irritating part is that everyone else does not understand “pie making” or sees fit to consider the other pieces as either unnecessary or of questionable value. In large part this can be directly attributed to the lack of truly comprehensive training and education in some professions.
If many of us, as those from outside the professions, can see the value and import, why do the professionals not see it? The answer is their orientation is so directed toward other aspects of the project that they either lose sight of, or have never truly understood the whole “pie” of the project. Some professionals have taken to concentrating on single portions of the project, and either neglecting or ignoring the other requisite parts-- a sad commentary. [pie filling without crust is not a pie]
The lack of an even-handed approach to professional education is disturbing. Graduates from such programs are expected to be at least aware of the whole of their profession. But the schools continually claim lack of time for a full range of education. They allot inordinate amounts of time to a single aspect of project work. It would seem that the first educational requirement for professional schools is to provide at least an orientation level instruction to the profession as a whole.
Specification writers would seem to have a distinct place in remedying this situation. By directly addressing specifications in presentations to the schools, we can increase awareness of our product, and get it due consideration and its rightful place in project work. What the schools “can’t”, or "won’t" do, can be done by outside sources with an effort mounted to do so.
This is not status seeking, or an attempt to project dominance or priority, but rather to approach, introduce and explain how “one piece of the pie” fits, with the other pieces, to create a whole pie! If each piece of the pie is valid and important then each student and new professional needs, vitally, to have at least a small sliver of each piece placed on their plate.